Execs see soft tools as key to greener IT

Many organisations are considering, and have budgeted for, software solutions to improve the efficiency of their IT infrastructure, and to solve the environmental challenges posed by the increasing use of computing resources in large enterprises, according to a study by CA.

‘The Future of Green IT — Implications for Software Solutions’ surveyed more than 250 IT decision makers at large companies in the US and UK, and found that IT departments now recognise the impact this consumption has on the environment, and have begun actively looking for ‘green’ solutions. A large percentage of the respondents indicated that implementing energy-efficient hardware and/or software solutions, and system automation tools, are included in IT plans to enable companies deliver Green initiatives.

Many companies espouse going Green for the good of the environment, but the CA the research reveals that respondents consider it a ‘secondary benefit’. At both the US and UK companies, the biggest influences to adopting green technology are ‘cost implications’. Other influences that IT executives in the US and UK also consider are disruptive IT failures, and responsibilities to corporate, the community, and the environment. In the US, regulatory pressures also inveigh, while UK IT chiefs are also influenced by ‘depletion of natural resources’.

The study says that the concern over cost and service disruption is leading to an increase in the adoption of software solutions to support green efforts, such as virtualisation, consolidation and system efficiency. As IT executives consider green solutions, they are recognising that replacing existing hardware with more energy-efficient technology is often cost-prohibitive, and that implementing IT software management solutions can lead to significant efficiency and cost savings. In fact, 80 per cent of US companies and more than 70 per cent of UK companies consider software solutions to be ‘very important to their ability to promote energy efficiency’.

In order to qualify for this research study, participants must have been responsible or have oversight for environmental issues associated with IT hardware and software and be responsible for at least two of the following: administration of IT hardware, software and services; determining IT hardware, software and services needs; approving computer and networking consultants; approving or selecting manufacturers or providers of IT hardware, software and services.

Two-hundred-and-fifty-two interviews were conducted with a random selection of large-sized companies in the US and UK. To qualify, companies must have had annual revenues of $500m or more in US (or £250m or more in the UK). The survey was completed in April 2008 on behalf of CA by Echo Research.

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